Karel Robětín

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Karel Robětín
Full name Karel Ardelt Fuchs-Robětín
Born (1889-01-28)28 January 1889
Prague, Austria-Hungary[1]
Died 14 February 1978(1978-02-14) (aged 89)[1]
Černošice, Czechoslovakia[2]

Karel Ardelt Fuchs-Robětín (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarɛl ˈardɛlt ˈfuks ˈrobjɛciːn], 28 January 1889 – 14 February 1978[1]) was a Czech tennis player.[3] He competed for Bohemia in three events at the 1912 Summer Olympics and 1920 Summer Olympics.[4][5] In the Davis Cup he represented Czechoslovakia and lost five times.

Early life and family[edit]

Karel Ardelt Robětín-Fuchs was born 28 January 1889 in Černošice to aristocrat Robert Fuchs, proprietor of the paper mill Böhmisch Kamnitzer Papierfabriken Robert Fuchs in Kamenice and the Holzstof – und Papierenfabrik Robert Fuchs in Haunoldmühle. The company exported paper products worldwide to South America, India, Indonesia, China, Japan, the Middle East and Australia. His father was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown third class. Later for his philanthropic ventures Emperor Franz Josef I also granted him the title of noble, which allowed him to bear the name Robettin (in Czech: Robětín), Roděk or Roněk, compounded with the German prefix "Fuchs Edler von Robbetin", and also a coat of arms. Karel's mother was Hermine von Poster, daughter of the factory owner and wholesaler from Budapest Karl Ludwig Ritter von Poster. Karl had two brothers Herbert and Oswald. The former married Hanna Fuchs-Robettin (née Werfel) an thus she is the sister-in-law of Karel.[6]

Karel studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague and started to play tennis there at his college years.[1]

After World War I the family moved from Austria to Czechoslovakia and officially changed their name to Fuchs-Robětín (a nominal form that was rejected by Austrian Aristocratic department of the ministry before). The father died in 1925 in Prague.[6]

Tennis career[edit]

At the age of nineteen he was one of the many Bohemians who competed in the international lawn tennis tournament of the Hungarian Athletics Club of Budapest.[7] In 1919 he was a team member of the inter-club match between LTC Řevnice and LTC Černošice, a tie which they won nine rubbers to five.[8] Karel became a one-time national tennis champion, a feat, which he accomplished in 1920 in singles category.[1] He competed for Bohemia in three events at the 1912 Summer Olympics and 1920 Summer Olympics.[4][5] In 1921 he was a member of the Czechoslovakian team facing Belgium but lost both of his rubbers. [9] In 1922 he was a part of a relief match for the Verdun Restoration Fund held at Wimbledon, in which he was defeated by Gerald Patterson in singles and again by Patterson and Rupert Wertheim in doubles with Friedrich Rohrer. [10] The same year he played at the World Hard Court Championships but fell in the first round in singles but reached the quarterfinals of the consolation tournament but was beaten by Marius van der Feen. [11] In doubles he met Henri Cochet and Jean Borotra in the second round but the French world class team proved to be too strong for him and his Czech teammate Pavel Macenauer.[12] In 1923 he entered the World Hard Court Championships again but was eliminated by Roger Danet. [13] In doubles he partnered Ladislav Žemla and lost to the French team of Pierre Canivet and R. Barbas. [14] Despite his initial successes he retired early in 1924 although he did return to court in 1927.[1] In 1930 he was ranked joint 14–15th shared with Felix Pipes on the official Czechoslovakian rankings. [15] Next year he slipped to joint 16-17–18th shared with Pipes and Bertrand. [15]

Ice hockey career[edit]

Unlike his brothers Karel stayed in his home country after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.[6] [16] He kept on practising at the I. Czech Lawn Tennis Club, which also had an ice hockey department. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia, the club life has changed. Surprisingly, in many aspects for the better. As any international sports meetings had ceased including tennis and hockey, which encompassed actually one and the same group of athletes gather daily at the club and diligently trained as domestic competition continued during the war. All this resulted in the season 1940 – 1941 the club's victory over an age-old rival LTC Prague (2:1) and hence triumphed in the Protectorate hockey league. Karel competed there with his son Robă as forwards. Later, I. ČLTK didn't decline, but the club was held among the best three teams for ten more years. Many of Karel's clubmates and tennis opponents would later gone on to become 1947 World Ice Hockey Champions as part of the Czechoslovakia men's national ice hockey team.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Karel finished his studies and became an architect.[1] In 1921 he was the secretary of the Czechoslovakian Tennis Association [9] and became the President in 1929 and held the office to 1938.[17] Later he stayed in touch with tennis and devoted himself to design tennis courts including the tennis stadium LTC Praha in Letná.[1]

Apart from the sports interests, the Fuchs-Robětín brothers took over the family business after Robert's death. Karel was appointed the chairman of the Economic Association of Paper Industry in Prague in the mean time. He also served as a chairman of the Technical Museum in Prague.[18]

He wrote a book on tennis, the Jak se naučit hrát tenis dřív než ostatní (How to learn to play tennis before others) and was an editor of the monthly magazine Stolní tenis a tenis (Table tennis and tennis).[1] He also published two economy books relating to timber and paper manufacturing in 1921 and 1933.[19]

He received the Honor of Czechoslovak Physical Education and Sport in 1964.[1]

Karel married Anda Havliček and they two sons, Robă and Karliček.[20]

Footnotes[edit]

Works cited[edit]

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